OSHA looking into fatal accident that killed Laurel man - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

OSHA looking into fatal accident that killed Laurel man

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BILLINGS - The man who died Tuesday night in at the Knife River industrial site in Billings was identified Wednesday as Justin Cruea, 28, of Laurel, according to Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has requested copies of the investigation, which likely means the agency is starting its own investigation, according Linder. The Montana Department of Labor and Industries referred questions to OSHA, and Q2 has reached out to the federal agency.

In a statement, Linder said that Cruea, an employee for the contractor, was apparently working on a truck when he fell between the bumper and a tire. His position after the fall likely made it difficult for him to breathe, and the preliminary cause of death is positional asphyxia, Linder said. 

A medical examiner is awaiting test results to determine if any other factors are involved, and Linder said investigators found no evidence of foul play. 

A spokesman for Bismarck, N.D.-based Knife River said Cruea was changing a wiper blade on the truck when the accident occurred. 

In a Facebook post, Cruea's sister-in-law, Charity Watkins, wrote that Cruea left behind a wife, Tabitha, a 3-year-old son, Colt, and two foster children.

"Justin supported and loved his family more than anything, taking care of his wife and children always came first," she wrote.

Cruea's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.

RELATED: Knife River issues statement on employee death at Billings West End facility

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